8 Reasons Why Regent Seven Seas Cruises Are Worth Every Dollar
When you're shopping for a cruise, the first price you see isn't usually what you pay. If you are constantly worried about extra fees adding up while you're onboard, it's not much of a vacation.
No matter which of the more than 450 destinations you're en route to aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises, it's not a low-cost ticket. Their voyages start at $2999 per person. But it's still one of the best values out there. Here's why.
1. Everything is included for one price. Really.
An industry insider described the added costs of cruising this way: "This is how much you pay to get on the ship, but how much will it cost to get off?"
But the Regent Seven Seas Cruises price covers everything from excursions to airfare and gourmet meals. Try experiencing all that with other luxury cruise lines, and your final bill could easily be higher.
2. You get flights to and from your cruise.
You have to find and book your flights separately for many cruise vacations.
For international travel, Regent Seven Seas Cruises include business class tickets with all the perks -- airport lounges, attentive service, food and wine. On domestic itineraries like Alaska, coach airfare is included. Once you land, transfers to your hotel or directly to the ship are also part of the package.
3. You can take unlimited shore excursions.
There are hundreds of included experiences available, from active adventures to excursions that cater to those with limited mobility.
Explore museums, historical towns, art, culture and nature with guidance from local experts. Take a guided pub crawl in Antwerp, Belgium, for example; drive an ATV or birdwatch through Icy Strait Point in Alaska; explore the Elephanta Caves in Mumbai, India; see the hilltop villages in Saint-Tropez, France; view ancient oracle centers in Lima, Peru; or visit the orchard region and Cu Chi tunnels in Saigon, Vietnam. And if an excursion books up early, they'll try to add more sessions so that you don't "miss the boat."
4. Smaller ships mean a richer journey.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' vessels are the opposite of mega-cruise ships, allowing for a more personalized, intimate experience with a staff-to-guest ratio of, at most, 1 to 1.5. On Alaska voyages, these 700-passenger ships can get closer to the North Sawyer Glacier and natural waterfalls than large ships can. In the Mediterranean, they can visit less-traveled ports that larger liners can't access -- like Zakynthos, Greece, known as the "Florence of Greece;" secluded Kotor, Montenegro, an UNESCO World Heritage site; or Rijeka, Croatia, home to the Trsat Castle, where guests can catch stunning views of the old city. This aspect appeals to a lot of cruise travelers who have visited a destination before, but want a more in-depth experience this time around.
5. Everyone gets a suite.
Smaller ships, bigger accommodations -- even the "base" suites are the size of regular hotel rooms, and 98 percent of them come with private balconies -- crucial when sailing among Alaska's glaciers. All suites include a marble bathroom, sitting area, in-suite mini-bar replenished daily, a walk-in closet, L'Occitane or Guerlain bath products, plus a welcome bottle of champagne and fresh fruit. Twenty-four-hour room service is included if you prefer to dine on your balcony and breathe in the sea air between bites.
6. Sophisticated? Yes. Pretentious? No.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises onboard programming features lecturers who provide passionate firsthand accounts and scholarly insights, but thanks to the "elegant casual" dress code, you don't have to wear a tux to attend. Speakers include television personalities, noted architects and former diplomats. The line's Alaska cruises often include programs led by a woman who has written guidebooks on the region, for example; Europe voyages might spotlight archaeologists and art or even culinary historians who can bring illuminating detail to each port of call.
The featured scholars stay for the whole voyage, so if you're lounging by the pool three days after the talk when a question strikes you, chances are you will still have time to ask it.
7. All meals are gourmet.
Offering "some of the best food on the seas" (Travel + Leisure), three onboard restaurants serve a variety of world cuisine (French, Pan-Asian and fine steakhouse fare, for example.) Yes, the whole Maine lobster is included, along with choices like jumbo lump crab cakes, Korean barbecue lamb chops, poached Chilean sea bass and escargot in burgundy-dijon sauce. Every menu has vegetarian options, and vegan, diabetic-friendly, gluten-free and Kosher meals are all available upon request.
Aboard the line's newest ship Seven Seas Explorer (which the cruise line deems "The Most Luxurious Cruise Ship Ever Built"), guests can also head into town with the Chef Instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen at various Mediterranean ports to shop for fresh local ingredients, and then prepare gourmet destination-specific cuisine during a hands-on cooking class.
8. Top shelf drinks are on the house.
That means fine wine and premium spirits, from Montaudon Brut Champagne to Grey Goose. So yes, you can have your Tanqueray and tonic. The mini-bars in suites are stocked with wine, beer and spirits as well. Don't drink alcohol? The Observation Lounge hosts daily themed tea times (often with live music) so guests can enjoy diverse teas and coffees.
Bottom line: You get what you pay for (and more).
You want an all-inclusive vacation that offers a complete luxury cruise experience? This is the way to go.